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Gorgonops

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  1. Gorgonops

    Booksale Oddity: M0191 Laserwriter Plus Kit

    So, it's sort of complicated. The original HP Laserjets (IE, with PCL3 or 4) do "memory management" in a drastically different way than Postscript does when rendering pages, and they don't support anything but bitmap fonts. With Postscript on the Apple LaserWriter and similar printers the printer RAM is essentially used as one big rectangular framebuffer, on which the CPU "draws" the scaled outline fonts and bitmapped graphics. This is a simple, straightforward, and rational way of doing things with one big downside: it takes about a megabyte of RAM to store a 300x300 DPI bitmap of a letter-size page, and that was really expensive in 1985. (The Laserwriter sold for about $6,000, which was about twice what a Laserjet did, and that was in substantial part due to shipping with 1.5MB of RAM.) The old HP Laserjet/LaserJet II, by contrast, uses a "sparse" memory layout when printing text with bitmapped fonts. In a method analogous to how a text-based CRT video card (IE, like the old MDA mono) or a tile/sprite based video game console works the HP printers use a descriptive structure in RAM to orchestrate how the scanning engine grabs font glyphs that represent bitmapped letters directly from character set ROMs (or tables in RAM) to render the page. This saves a *lot* of RAM if you're just printing text using fonts either built into the printer's ROM or present on a ROM cartridge, and it's also really fast. (An HP original Laserjet will run rings around a Laserwriter if all you want to do is print page after page of single-spaced Courier text.) Downside is it gets really awkward if you want to use many different fonts or sizes (if you're using a desktop publishing program with an HP Laserjet you usually end up printing pages as one big graphic rendered on the computer, which usually gives the speed advantage back to the Postscript printer), and it also meant that those original printers couldn't do full page graphics without a memory upgrade. Pulling fonts straight off a cartridge ROM saved your precious printer RAM and was fast so it was an... okay? solution. Of course, with the advent of the LaserJet III (which included Truetype scalable font support) the font cartridge pretty much died, because you no longer needed a separate bitmap for every size font. Of course, there's actually another category of "font cartridge": the LaserJet II allowed for program code to reside on cartridges in addition to fonts, so there were language cards made for it that converted it into a Postscript printer. (There were also HPGL emulation cartridges so you could pretend your laserjet was a plotter.) These along with a memory upgrade were probably among the most common "Postscript Printers" around in the early 90's... and holy cow, was that combination slooooow.
  2. I'm going to post an abbreviated version of my reply to that new topic here. Broadly speaking the Lounge is probably the right place for a discussion like that. However: Before there's any more discussion about MacCaps and its proprietor the "management position" of this forum should probably be made clear: this forum completely and utterly severed any relationship to the proprietor of that service some time ago. Charles is not (or at least should not) be directly reading your comments here nor is he able to directly reply to this topic. Given that, please refrain from discussion about what may or may not be happening with this individual's personal life and how that might be causing the customer service issues you're experiencing. (And, of course, know that any specific threats of legal action, etc, will be falling on deaf ears.) So, broadly speaking, my take on this is if you're going to discuss this please treat MacCaps.com as if it were a *business entity* and keep speculation about how flattened raccoons or romantic disasters might be the root cause of your vendor dissatisfaction to a minimum.
  3. Gorgonops

    Booksale Oddity: M0191 Laserwriter Plus Kit

    Seems pretty unlikely that an Accelerator card for the original Laserwriter would come out before the Laserwriter Plus did; the original was only on the market for about nine months before the Plus appeared. (And the only difference between the two is the Plus comes with extra fonts, 35 vs 13.) If it actually makes the printer faster I'd guess it's probably more like a 1990-vintage product. (Upgrade controller boards were a legitimate "thing" around that time because CPU speed was improving faster than Laser printer engine technology; the original Laserwriter couldn't come anywhere close to its engine's "8 pages per minute" rating rendering anything but the simplest text.) It is actually sort of weird that Apple sold the original and the Plus alongside each other for two years, IE, both were discontinued the same day when the Laserwriter II series came out. I poked around the Macworld magazines on archive.org and apparently the Plus upgrade kit (and the price difference between the two models) was $800. Sheesh. Amazing what a few fonts used to cost, isn't it? (Totally worth it, though, given the original had only Courier, Helvetica, and Times Roman. Love me some Palantino...)
  4. Gorgonops

    Booksale Oddity: M0191 Laserwriter Plus Kit

    Awesome. Note that when I said "8-bit" it doesn't necessarily have to be Apple, depending on what you have extras of.
  5. Gorgonops

    Booksale Oddity: M0191 Laserwriter Plus Kit

    ... oh, my other conquest this weekend. (A big week, I guess.) A friend was cleaning out their garage and found an Apple Keyboard II, which they guessed I might be interested in. It's still not the *correct* keyboard, but I now finally have a keyboard for my Apple IIgs that has the cursor keys in the right layout. (I'd been making do with an AppleDesign keyboard, which was the only not-trashed ADB keyboard they had at Weirdstuff the day I looked.)
  6. Gorgonops

    Booksale Oddity: M0191 Laserwriter Plus Kit

    I'm sure somewhere out there is an NRFB original Laserwriter that this box would go perfectly with... It's silly, but just looking at the font samples on the box triggers some serious nostalgia. I never had an *Apple* Laser printer (lived in PC country), but nearly every generic/clone Postscript printer for years shipped with the same set of fonts as the Apple Laserwriter Plus, and whenever anyone asked my opinion as to what sort of Laser printer they should invest in I'd always *strongly* recommend they spring for a dual-mode Laserjet/Postscript machine because built-in scalable fonts were awesome. (The advent of PCL5 with the LaserJet III sort of nullified some of Postscript's advantages in the PC world, but for quite a long time most HP clones only supported PCL4 and clones with both PCL4 and Postscript could often be found cheaper than HP LJ IIIs.) There were several formative years in my life where my number one stupid computer trick was making elaborate Wordperfect 5.1 macros that would produce anything from lawyer letterhead to church bulletins using those fonts. (Which of course you couldn't see onscreen in DOS 5.1, it was all a matter of making best guesses/slash/laying it out with a ruler and printing to see how it looked.) In a strange way I guess I miss you, Zapf Chancery Medium Italic.
  7. The local library was having a book sale, which I arrived at 20 minutes before it ended. (IE, the point at which you paid $3 for a grocery bag and walked out with as much as you could stuff.) In the computer books section I found something not a book: still in its original shrink wrap. To quote this late 1986 press release: I have absolutely no use for it (and am not really into collecting shrinkwrapped memorabilia) so maybe I should be posting this in the Trading Post section, but... whatever, weird thing to find at a book sale. (If someone actually wants this by all means shoot an me a message, I'm open to any offer/trade that covers the hassle of throwing it in a shipping box. Anything 8-bit is interesting.) I *almost* want to open it just to behold the glory of 512K's worth of 1986 ROMs and a virginal Laserwriter Plus label but, you know, NRFB!
  8. Gorgonops

    SSD in a 6500, anyone successfull?

    It might just take the right magic combination of an adapter that handles all the fallback modes correctly combined with an SSD that's willing to communicate with a partner asking it to do weird things. Oh, who knows, it probably just depends on how Jupiter aligns with Mars when you plug it all together because Apple's implementations of some things are just plain idiosyncratic. (I haven't owned any of the Beige "IDE Macs" but I can testify that weirdness with Apple's IDE implementations continued into the early Return of the Jobsi era. Both my iMac Rev. B and my Blue and White were really picky about hard disks, *especially* when you threw OS X into the mix. Some drives wouldn't work at all, others might work in OS 9 and would let you go through the OS X installer but show a big grey Ghostbusters-"NO" symbol on the screen when you rebooted... The same goes with RAM compatibility with those machines.) Mildly-amusing anecdote: Back around 2004 or so we had a guy in our hardware lab at work who was testing software RAID setups on cheap Pentium 4 Dell servers which were examples of the first SATA-equipped generation. One day I noticed he was using PATA hard drives with SATA-host-to-PATA-drive adapters (the opposite of what you're doing) in some machines so I asked him why, and he said the adapters were a reliable way of generating SMART errors for the RAID driver to detect. Presumably these adapters have gotten better since then. Or maybe not.
  9. Gorgonops

    SSD in a 6500, anyone successfull?

    I believe the main difference between the ATA ports in a 6320 and a 6500 is the PCI-based machines have an ATA-2 implementation that supports DMA transfers while the older ones only do PIO modes. I wonder if the reason the adapter works in the older machine and not the newer one is that all IDE drives *need* to be able to fall back to PIO (that's what they're supposed to come up in at boot time) but the adapter has issues falling back to the in-between pre-UltraATA DMA modes and ends up wandering off into la-la land when the 6500 asks it if it supports them.
  10. Gorgonops

    Almost Disappointed They're not G5's

    According to the ol' kill-a-watt my lowly 2.0ghz quad (with 32gb of RAM, though) sucks around 200 watts at idle so, no, not a good choice for a media server.
  11. Gorgonops

    Almost Disappointed They're not G5's

    If they're gen1/2 machines they're not good for much, alas, but free is free. (They're fine Linux machines, still good at that, although performance-wise anything but the 8-core models will lose to most i-series desktop CPUs, even i3s, made after 2011 or so. The one niche they can handle better than a newer desktop is if you have a use for a slow machine that can take a ton of RAM.)
  12. Gorgonops

    17" powerbook

    That's what I said, there are two versions of both 1.67ghz models and a distinguishing characteristic of both is the older one has DDR and newer DDR2.
  13. Gorgonops

    17" powerbook

    Like the 15" model there are indeed two versions of the 17" in 1.67ghz, a DDR/"Low Res" screen model and the DDR2/"High Res". (1440x900 verses 1680x1050)
  14. Gorgonops

    M0110 works for 4 minutes, then stops.

    That's a shame. I know I've had some annoying issues with macOS and oddball keyboards myself.
  15. Gorgonops

    M0110 works for 4 minutes, then stops.

    It's kind of an awkward situation you're in, because it's really hard to recommend a strategy for ruling out whether the problem is in the adapter without trying the keyboard on a Mac Plus or earlier. (Or trying the adapter with a known good keyboard, perhaps.) Is the behavior consistent on every computer you've tried plugging the adapter into, or have you only tried the Macbook? I suppose it's also possible it's a host related issue putting the adapter to sleep.
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